Both of these goodies were taste-tested today by my girls and their friends, and both passed with high marks. The kids kept asking for more. Good thing the cupcake recipe turned out a whole bunch! I'm sticking these in the freezer. By freezing them on a cookie sheet until solid, then transferring to containers, I can preserve the shape of the cupcakes. A frozen cupcake packs wonderfully, thawing just in time for lunch at school when placed in an insulated lunchbox.
What You Need:
- 1 packet of active dry yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (or substitute whole wheat for half)
- colorful jimmies
- almond bark or white chocolate (1/4 lb was all I needed)
- colored sugar
- Combine yeast, sugar, and water in a mixing bowl. Stir and let this sit for ten minutes until doubled in volume and bubbly.
- Mix in oil, salt, and flour. Knead 5 to 7 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
- Cover and let dough rest at least 15 minutes. It's forgiving: If you need to let it rest an hour or two, just punch it down when you're ready to move on.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half.
- Roll each half into a roughly 9x11" rectangle. Sprinkle colorful jimmies over dough and run the rolling pin over it to press them into the dough.
- Cut the dough into strips, less than 1" wide.
- Twist the ends of the dough until a tight spiral shape is achieved.
- Place each spiral straight on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 14 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Let cool completely.
- Melt almond bark. Dip the end of each wand into the melted candy, then sprinkle with colored sugar for a magical tip.
- Let the candy harden. Store tightly covered.
Mini Apple-Carrot Cupcakes with Honey-Butter Frosting
makes about 56 mini cupcakes
I love honey-butter frosting. I first made it with maple cupcakes and everyone gobbled them up. This time I paired the frosting with a denser cupcake and it didn't disappoint. The batter is very thick and full of fruit and vegetables. If your eaters are fussy about this, I suggest you puree them instead of grating them.
What You Need:
for the cupcakes:
- 1/2 cup safflower or other light oil
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 carrots (peeled or not -- I peeled mine)
- 3 small apples (peeled or not -- I did not peel these, and I used Granny Smith)
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup honey
- 5 to 6 cups confectioner's sugar
How it's Done:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini cupcake tin with papers or spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- Grate the carrots and apples and set them aside.
- Beat butter, oil, and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions. Add vanilla extract.
- Slowly stir in flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Once all are incorporated, beat on medium-high 2 minutes.
- Fold in apples and carrots.
- Fill cupcake tins all the way to the top. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until top springs back when pressed gently. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting, beat together the butter and honey. Slowly add the confectioner's sugar until the desired consistency is met. If you want to color the frosting, do so before adding the confectioner's sugar. Frost as desired.